Honoured to be the new president

Errol became president of the FIDI Global Alliance at the Conference in Athens in May 2013. He is at the same time the owner of New Zealand Van Lines, a company he acquired and has been running for 27 years now.

Read Errol's interviews and columns he has published in FIDI Focus here!

Honoured to be the new President (FIDI Focus 255, Jun-Jul 2013)

I was in Greece at the time of writing this column, experiencing the close of a very successful conference, one which had special signifi cance for me, as I took over the president’s role. This has happened a year earlier than expected, due to Rupert Morley having to step down ahead of time – so it’s all a bit sudden! As I said in my inaugural speech following the General Assembly, I am both proud and humbled – proud to be the first New Zealander to attain this position, and humbled when I consider the illustriousness of all those who served before me. My immediate predecessor will be a hard act to follow, and while I learned a lot from both Rupert and Orphee, under whom I served, I need to adopt my own style, which is perhaps a bit more inclusive. I’ll be looking for proactive input from my fellow board members, especially within their own portfolios. At FIDI right now, there is much work in progress. We’ve made a strong start in many areas; FAIM 3.0 is a good example – it is alive and working well so we need to continue the momentum. At the time of writing, some 80 audits have been conducted, and we have been a bit surprised at the numbers of Non-Compliant Values (NCVs). The encouraging thing is that the problems are relatively minor, ‘fixable’ things; not fundamental quality issues. Obviously, we don’t want to lose FIDI members, but by the same token we must maintain the integrity of FAIM 3.0. Affiliates will have a three-month period to fi x the NCVs, which is more than ample time, but they must be aware of the consequences of not meeting the standard. We should be proud of many achievements – with FAIM 3.0 progressing from initiation to conducting more than 80 audits within six months, it’s a significant one. But in terms of the PPP (Payment Protection Plan) and slow payers, we are not quite there yet. With the FIDI Payment Service, we cannot continue this for much longer without a significantly greater take-up.

We should be proud of many achievements

Overall, the conference went very well and the board has received only positive feedback. The venue was pleasant and the weather was good, which has helped; hotel food – usually indifferent – was excellent and the facilities were good for meetings, meals and drinks. My special thanks to Orphee Beinoglou for being such a powerhouse in terms of organising the conference in his home town. Disappointingly, the business sessions were poorly attended. They looked at the crisis in Europe and Greece from specific points of view, and the quality was great. Maybe we had too many speakers? We will look at the mix more closely for our Singapore conference, bearing in mind the increasing demand for members to organise one-on-one meetings, and for networking. Turning back to our services, I am keen to develop a destination service provider (DSP). I’m aware there was a fi rm rejection from the Presidents of FIDI Associations (PFAs) for including DSP as part of FAIM – even as an optional addendum – but with all the work that went into developing the standard, perhaps there is scope for providing interested members with guidelines, or a procedure manual which they can use as their own working tool. I would envisage this being made available at nominal cost – or even free of- charge. FIDI continues to evolve, as does the industry; we need to be aware of, and anticipate changes in market demand, and respond accordingly. I firmly believe FIDI needs to be more than just a ‘moving’ body. To conclude my first presidential column, FIDI is in good shape. Members seem to be happy with the progress being made; there is undeniably a better relationship between the PFAs and the board. We’re very focused on transparency, too, and you can expect that to continue. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support.

FIDI Focus 256 - "Keep it simple, stupid!"